View Full Version : Two quirky incidents and one Hell in the Lumber Department story

12-03-2018, 03:32 AM
Forgot to put this in the title but this is LONG.

Story #1: Customer is shocked ... shocked, I tell you!

A customer and her family came through my line with two buggies full of Christmas decorations. The price, needless to say, came to $1,000+ ...

She was using her debit card. Tries once. Card is declined. She is startled. Asks if she can try again. Sure, I say. Second try: declined.

Customer: "Do you think there's something wrong with the chip?"

Me: "Um, no ..." (Because that usually results in a 'Chip error' notice or a 'Bad read" notice ... a 'Declined' notice means something quite different.)

Customer wants to run to her bank and check it out. Can she leave the buggies here? Sure, I say, and push them out of the way. Off she goes.

She returns later with the (to her) shocking news that her debit card had a limit.

She got the bank to temporarily lift the limit, paid, and went home happily with her booty.

Story #2: Grandma? Grandma, are you there??

A woman comes through my line with her twin grandsons. She is buying each a small poinsettia plant and a chocolate letter. I total it up and she digs in her purse.


Her wallet is in the car.

She says something to the boys in another language (European, I think, but couldn't swear to it) and dashes out the door ... leaving two seven-year-olds at my till. The one boy looks at me and says "She told us to wait here."

Uh ... okay?? :eek:

And I'm supposed to do WHAT with you?

The boys, perhaps luckily, were anything but shy. They yakked on happily during her absence (she was gone long enough that I started wondering if Granny was even coming back ...) Among the info I got: they can speak French (I think) and Romanian; they can count to 20 in Spanish (they did this in unison; if I'd had my wits about me, I'd have counted to 10 in German :D ) and I can't remember what-all else.

Eventually Granny returned with her wallet.

Her card was declined. :banghead:

Unlike the customer in the first story, she didn't insist on trying it over and over again; she just put everything aside, apologized to the boys (who seemed startled but not too upset) and left.

Story #3: Hell in the lumber department

The two stories above were quirky but only mildly annoying, if that.

This story is something else again.

I had an eight-hour shift today, and because I started at 8 a.m., I knew what that meant: an entire shift in the lumber department ...

Guy comes to my till with two jumbo packages of insulation. I ring them out; they ring in at $40.99 (close enough). He says no, there's an ad on our website saying they are $35.99 and if you buy two packages there is an additional 15% off. I say I have to get authorization for this, because who knows whether this is an "online only" special (I hate those things. Either price the items the same online or in the store, or ... well, there is no "or"). I call the head cashier. It's so slammed up front that SHE is on a cash register. She tells me he will have to go to Customer Service to get it settled. He's none too happy but he goes.

I check out more customers.

He comes back. Says it's been settled. However, I haven't heard anything from CS and I cannot simply take his word for it. I call CS again, and get some poor schmuck who has just punched in and doesn't have Clue 1 what's going on. By this time I am annoyed and I'm afraid I was a bit short with her. I finally told her to just hand me over to somebody who had been there for Act 1.

I am then told the customer has to come to Customer Service ... please note, this is literally at the other end of a very large store.


They ask what CS told him, and apparently it was something to the effect that he hadn't brought the items up with him. Now, these are YUUUUUUUGE things, and weaving through the store up to CS with them would not be pleasant, to say the least.

"Well, that's why they couldn't do anything for him."

I make it clear I will NOT tell him to go to CS again. They tell me they will send somebody with authority over to me. Please note: they are located right next to CS, so yes, they too are quite a distance away from me. This is one of the many things that makes working the lumber department such a pain in the ass.

Somebody finally does come over, asks me what the problem is, and I point her towards the customer ... because I have more customers waiting in line and frankly don't have time for this shit any more.

Finally she comes back to me and tells me to give him the sale price ($35.99 and the 15% off). I have no idea whether this was a legit price or not and quite honestly by this point I didn't care; they could've given him the stuff for free for all I cared. I wasn't clock watching during all this but I am fairly sure it took at least 20 minutes to settle this issue.

The customer was REALLY not happy about the whole thing, but to his everlasting credit, he didn't take it out on me.

Brief story #4: Load it yourself, apparently

Two women came through with a very large load of lumber. I asked them if they wanted any help getting it into their vehicle. One indicated yes, the other no. :confused: So I called a 'loader' anyway. This is done by means of an automated message that goes out over the store's P.A. system.

A few minutes later I called again.

Aaaaand a few minutes after that, I sent out a third page.

Finally, I called the head cashier and said "Do we only have one loader on today??"

Her: *laughs* "You just have to be PAYYYY-TIENT."

Oh really? I left some 45 to 60 minutes later and the loader still hadn't shown up. How PAYYYY-TIENT are the customers supposed to be?

Fortunately by then the two women had loaded the lumber themselves, with no complaints.

Teeny-tiny story #5: Don't you know Sunday is a day of rest ... for some, anyway?

Couple comes through my line with some purchases. They are looking over at the contractors' desk.

Guy: "Can we put in an order at the contractors' desk?"

Me: "I'm sorry, but there's nobody at the desk on Sundays ..."

Woman: "Can you do it?"

Me: "I'm really sorry but I've not been trained in that."

Yeah, we have the store open (on a super-skeletal staff) on Sundays but nobody at the contractors' desk, because fuck you, I guess.

Now, I don't know what their order would've consisted of. The two women with the lumber? One came back in to 'buy' a few dozen bags of cement; she wanted to pay for them today and pick them up tomorrow. THAT I can do. If this couple had wanted something that simple, I could've helped them. By then, however, my brain was so fried it never occurred to me to ask. Along with the above incidents, we have these small slips of paper that we must fill out when changing a price; I had three or four incidents on my first such slip and one item on my second ... plus I didn't get my (one-hour) lunch until 1:30 and never got my second break at all, since I went home at four.

And yes, Virginia, I will indeed be looking for another job in the new year. This is not a place in which I care to spend any more time than I have to.